Everton: 'No goalkeeper arrivals in January' says Koeman; Barkley 'hard to coach' claims journalist; No 'special plan' to contain Lukaku say Burnley; Oviedo's big chance
There’s much talk emerging from Goodison Park ahead of Saturday’s trip to Lancashire to take on Burnley at Turf Moor, and one of the highlights included a bit of good news for Maarten Stekelenburg, with Ronald Koeman informing the Liverpool Echo that he doesn’t plan on bringing in another goalkeeper this January.
“I am happy with two goalkeepers. I want to have a situation with three first team goalkeepers. That is the decision we need to make, but I don’t know if winter is the right time to make that decision for next season”, he said.
“I can’t do anything about speculation (surrounding Joe Hart). We are not doing anything about that at this moment.
“First of all if you can get a good goalkeeper in the goal and he’s very good with his feet then he’ll be the best but if I have to choose one of the two I choose the goalkeeper who will save and not with the ball at his feet. I am talking generally.”
Koeman was also quick to play up the value that the goalkeeper has in his team, and after last week’s performance Stekelenburg has certainly proved his worth:
“The goalkeeper’s job, in my opinion, is the most important. If you can have one that is good at playing from the back that is perfect. Maarten’s quality is he has both.”
After Koeman commented in the week regarding Ross Barkley, stating that it was time that the England international began to ‘show his potential’ following his omission against Manchester City, the midfielder was one of the topics of discussion on Thursday’s BBC Five Live debate, with Andy Dunn, a journalist from the Sunday Mirror, claiming that the 22-year-old can be a tough prospect for a manager to coach.
“Ross Barkley has to handle the disappointment of being dropped by England and now being an automatic choice for Everton”, Dunn said.
“I won’t name the coaches involved, but coaches have told me that Ross is a tremendously gifted player but he is quite hard to coach.
“The modern manager wants players to be disciplined. There’s not much room for free spirits or loose cannons. What Koeman is saying is ‘You’ve got to track back, mature and be more disciplined”.
Elsewhere, preparations are well underway for the Toffees’ trip to Turf Moor tomorrow, but interesting news is coming out of the Burnley camp, involving comments appearing in the Liverpool Echo alleged to have been made by centre-half Ben Mee, who will come against Everton’s Romelu Lukaku tomorrow. He of course remained candid, but revealed that there isn’t actually any special plan to combat the Belgium international on the day.
“I look forward to playing up against him,” Mee said. “Obviously he’s in form at the minute, he’s one of the best strikers in the Premier League for sure”.
“It’s going to be a good challenge for us and me and Keano (Michael Keane) will look to do a job, definitely.
“We look at every team we play so it’s no different, we haven’t got anything special lined-up it’s just going to be pitting our wits against him I guess”.
The Burnley fixture will also provide a much-needed platform for one Everton player, Costa Rican Bryan Oviedo, who will profit from Leighton Baines’ continued absence through injury and along with it gain the chance to revive his prospects on Merseyside.
It will also be a huge opportunity for the wide-man to really stake his claim under new boss Ronald Koeman, and the Dutchman has challenged the player to take his chance now that it has come.
“Of course this is a great opportunity for him”, Koeman told the Liverpool Echo.
“What you like is to have two good players for every position, but Bryan is doing well and this is his chance.
“It is about confidence. When I spoke to him in pre-season I said you must fight for your place.
“Normally, if Leighton is fit then he will be first choice, but you need to work hard and fight and when you get your chance then you need to be ready. Then when you get your chance take your chance and he is doing well.”
Featured Image: All Rights Reserved by Walter Alonso Morales.